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alf wilkinson

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Everything posted by alf wilkinson

  1. The idea of war crimes is, despite international law, rife with ambiguities. It is, I think, the intentionality that is the key. That is what leads to a definition of genocide - King Leopold's Congo, South West Africa, Armenia, Nanking, the Kurds, Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda all rank as intentional acts of murder and genocide. My Lai, in Vietnam, for instance, was undoubtedly a war crime, ie 'against the rules of war' but would hardly rank as genocide. Some acts appear justifiable at the time - area blanket bombing in WW2 for instance - which we no longer accept as justifiable. Does that mean t
  2. Hi - I've been pondering the best way forward on the 'women's history' topic, and especially the oral/social history, rather than the political history. Perhaps if we can agree a kind of template for interviewing women about their experiences, that we could all use, so we are working in a similar way. This might make it easier to pick out similarities and differences across Europe. I wonder if Dan's better half has anything we might adapt? I'm not suggesting we should all stick rigidly to it, it just might make the whole project more coherent. I have in mind a three [four?] generational inter
  3. It is, as you say, hard to 'write off' a whole century of Russian history as if it was a bad dream. Historians argue about the Tsar, and how democratic Russia was on the way to becoming in 1917. They also argue about the amount of support the Bolsheviks had in 1917-20. So the starting point of the discussion varies enormously! Despite the failure of communism and the disintegration of the USSR discussion is usually still based on political ideology, and this complicates the issue even more. Lets focus on Stalin. There was coercion and terror. There was little attention paid to living standar
  4. My seminar focused on a simple practical example of how we might encourage history teachers to use ICT in their lessons. If we start from the history, and not from the ICT, then we can show how we can actually do history, only better, using ICT. I started from my local war memorial. Many teachers do use their local war memorial to look at names, events etc. If you coup e this with a visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website – www.cwgc.org.uk you can find out about each soldier, where they are buried or commemorated, and a little about the campaign they were killed in. Follow t
  5. Could it be useful to think in terms of an oral history input too? How women's lives have changed? Also, not just the vote, but topics like the 60s, when women's lib really started, with the pill, etc, etc? And equal rights legislation - the 'glass ceiling' - limiting women's progress in business? There is much more to the changing status and role of women than the vote. Some would argue that getting the vote changed nothing......
  6. Quick work Anders! What an ugly looking mob, though.....
  7. sorry, Richard, I can't use your evaluation copy either. Can I have a word copy via email? when you return from your few days away. I think the first meeting went really well, but a little more reflection time, and a little more 'doing' time, rather than listening time, would have been good. As one who stuck to his 15 minutes, I agree with Andy - if we had stuck to that we would have had more reflection time. I liked having associates there, and presenting - it added a deeper dimension to the meeting, and would like them present again. But we must also work on our own targets too.
  8. I will include details in the HA enews letter, and raise the project at Secondary Committee. The project will feature regularly in HA enews - 4000 history teachers. We will get text in the secondary journal - Teaching History - and in the Becta enewsletter in the autumn. I shall endeavour to brief the Times Educational Supplement - weekly teachers newspapers - history journalist in due course. I think that's all I said I would do in the short term....
  9. One way I've used ICT that had a direct impact on teaching and learning was a series of lessons on WW1. We started from the local war memorial - the names are familiar to local children and you immediately 'people' the war with real people. So far, so good, no need for ICT there. Except, by using the web I can immediately link the names to their graves via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, and make further use of the web to research these cemetaries or memorials. I can also discover where they lost their lives, and further research these events of the war via the web. All perfect
  10. I would very much like to work in Richard's school in Toulouse - or one similar - where ICT is embedded in the curriculum, where I don't have to book the facilities a week next thursday! Until that is the case then it will always be difficult to use the full power of ICT effectively in lessons. I would also like pupils to be properly computer literate, so I could spend lesson time teaching history using ICT not teaching ICT! I would also like to see an intelligent search engine. They can develop intelligent 'anti-spam' programs - the more I use it the more it successfully filters out the rubbi
  11. One way I've used ICT that had a direct impact on teaching and learning was a series of lessons on WW1. We started from the local war memorial - the names are familiar to local children and you immediately 'people' the war with real people. So far, so good, no need for ICT there. Except, by using the web I can immediately link the names to their graves via the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, and make further use of the web to research these cemetaries or memorials. I can also discover where they lost their lives, and further research these events of the war via the web. All perfect
  12. Hi - I am doing some research into the use of regional archive material in the classroom. The aim is to encourage regional film archives to open up their 'treasures' in a way that makes it easy for teachers to use in their work. Do members use regional film archive in their classroom? For what? what are the best kind of resources? What are the worst? I'd be interested to know your experiences. What kind of resources would you like? Can we produce a wish-list?
  13. I would support Terry in his commendation of Nelson Mandela. My son has recently returned from South Africa, where he visited Robben Island, and he came away mightily impressed by the humanity and vision of Mandela in not being turned into a monster wanting revenge by the conditions suffered there. It must take a great deal of goodness to be able to repeatedly turn the other cheek, and preach reconciliation.
  14. Euroclio would also make an excellent avenue for dissemination - at their annual conferences we could do a progress paper, and promote the book too. If we can contact national subject associations, like the HA, and ICT organisations, like NAACE in the UK, these too would be good avenues for dissemination. You might also find one of the mainstream publishers prepared to handle the book - Terry got the HA book out via Routledge....
  15. Has the potential to grow into something good, if you get the posts to keep people coming back. I can promote the site in the HA enews for econdary teachers if you wish.
  16. My name is Alf Wilkinson and I was a history teacher, head of history and ICT Co-ordinator at a large comprehensive school in Bedford for many years. I left to run the Historical Association NOF training scheme. I know it is fashionable to knock NOF training but I think we helped a lot of teachers move on. I am now Professional Development Manager for the HA. This last year I have organised a national conference for history teachers on using ICT and been involved in various projects on behalf of the HA. I am interested in the story part of history, and making learning fun! Sometimes we forget
  17. The ultimate irony of World War Two is that Britain became, during the war, almost more totalitarian than Germany. People, male and female, were conscripted, much more so than in Nazi Germany, and the Government much more effectively mobilised society to fight a total war. So was it a war of democracy against dictatorship? It was a war about power. Hitler wanted an empire of his own - land-based, and in Europe, sure, or did he really want to conquer the world? It was a war about economic wealth. Despite the claims to the contrary, it was a war that all powers were eager to fight., even th
  18. Leninism also provided the practical basis for Stalin and his policies - the use of terror, the one-party state, propaganda, the stifling of debate in the party, the 'we know best' attitude, all date from Lenin and his time as party leader. Many historians argue that Stalin was driven by the desire to achieve what Lenin had not - a communist revolution - without compromise and without giving in to other sectors of society. Of course some historians argue that Stalin was not a communist, he was a 'great Russian' - an old-fashioned Tsar if you like - who put country - Russia not Georgia - above
  19. Terror was central to Stalin's rule - but it is impossible to terrorise a whole population. Terror and persuasion were different sides of the same coin. Many, many idealistic young Communists went off to build the new cities like Magnitogorsk, in the most terible conditions, totally voluntarily, to help build the exciting new society many really believed in. Terror was mostly applied to the Party - not totally, it's true, and this is where Stalin differed from Lenin. Lenin used terror, but not as a rule on his own, whereas Stalin used it increasingly as he became more and more dominant. Of
  20. I remember reading 'One Day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch' and it having a profound impact on me. It taught me more about the Russian Revolution than any amount of history texts. The part where Ivan Denisovitch asks if Comrade Stalin can even control the sun fittingly emphasises totalitarian ideas and aims yet pokes fun at it. A short book with a big impact.
  21. It is one thing signing up to email lists, it is another altogether making good use of them. You really need to be selective, and carefully choose list(s) that are pertinent to what you want to get out of them. Someone once said that the problem with teaching was there is not enough information; now, with the internet, the problem is often there is too much! It is easy to get inundated with emails and information that distracts you from what you are trying to do! It is great to be able to share problems (challenges!) - and experiences - with like minded colleagues, and that is one of the bea
  22. I agree - it is a justifiable response to give non-specialists the weaker groups, but the only way to turn a non-specialist into a 'specialist' history teacher is to make them want to teach history. And the best way to do that is to make them think - 'oh, I didn't know you could do that...' or 'that's much better/more efficient/saves me time compared to the way we do it in my department...' We used to distribute 'lead tasks' or preparing resources around the whole group of us, specialists and non-specialists alike. With a little thought you can choose areas/topics that fit in with a non-specia
  23. My name is Alf Wilkinson, and I have been teaching history for more than 30 years. My interest in Russian history developed out of teaching the Revolution and Stalin at A Level, and subsequently at AS and A2 level. I have produced materials on Russia for my website Burnt Cakes (http://www.burntcakes.com/) and for New Perspective - a magazine for A Level students as well as for (http://www.history-ontheweb.co.uk/new_pers/new_pers.htm). I am endlessly fascinated by the topic, and the way historians re-write the story of the key characters involved. The interesting thing at present is the much gr
  24. My name is Alf Wilkinson, and I have been teaching history for more than 30 years. I first began using computers in the 1980s, when you needed a tape recorder to store your data, and everything was very slow! I took a Masters Degree in 1984-85, and one of the options was ‘Computers in Education’, and this gave me a chance to explore what computers can do in history teaching and learning. I now work for the Historical Association as their Professional Development manager. In my opinion there are two main reasons for using computers in history – either to do something you could not otherwise do
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